Thursday, October 6, 2016

BULLYING and ADDICTION: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach


Most drug and alcohol addicts start using at a young age, generally 12 to 18 years old, from that point it is generally the catalyst for a long binge of substance abuse and addiction. Many adolescents suffering from depression find risk taking behaviour such as violence, sex, and substance use a reprieve from their depression. Continuous research on drug and alcohol abuse among adolescents has helped understand what initiates substance use and ways to prevent it.

A recent collaboration of the Society of Prevention Research and Jeremy Luk of University of Washington found a correlating link of substance use and teen girls with depression resulting from bullying. Luk analyzed a study conducted by the U.S. Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC), of 1,495 10th graders focusing on bullying, depression and substance use. The research showed a high correlation of those who were bullied became depressed or showed signs of depression. Primarily young girls were highly impacted. Of the adolescents suffering from depression many used drugs and alcohol.

Bullying amongst adolescents is acted in many ways. Bullying is a form of abuse. Recent bullying amongst teenagers has moved to internet bullying through emails and social networking. A lot of damage can result from internet bullying especially the social networking as it is a growing form of communication and particularly popular amongst teenagers. New generations are increasingly exposed to the turmoil of others insecurities. Young girls are common targets for verbal abuse and bullying. Teenage girls perception of what is being said about them can have an immense effect on their self-esteem; generally they will carry this into their adulthood. Low self-esteem fuels depression. The survey made clear that the depression of those students had a heavy influence on their desire to use drugs and alcohol.

Drug and alcohol use amongst teenagers is a nationwide concern. Abuse of prescription pills, stimulants, club drugs, marijuana and cocaine is continuously being exposed to today’s youth. Additionally bullying is increasing and taking on new forms with advancing technology. Bullying can’t always be prevented but it can be resolved. Keeping an open mind and staying involved in your teenager’s life can open opportunities for them to talk freely about the struggles that they are enduring in adolescence. Drug and alcohol abuse talks should be a reoccurring conversation with young adults. Maintaining a bridge of communication is vital and one way to prevent substance use. The ease and comfort of talking about their issues comes from the feeling that they can talk to their parents, counsellors, and peers.

In a study of clients over the last 20 years we have found the around 20% of all clients have a history of being bullied in childhood and adolescence. These clients often show symptoms of PTSD, and chronic lack of self esteem, which intern fuels drug and alcohol abuse. Other consequences include compulsive overeating, sex adiction and addiction to cutting and other self harming behaviour.

If you or someone you love is in the grips of any ADDICTION
call us today PH 0432 944 027

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